When you find out that you didn’t get the job you really wanted, it can be difficult to know what went wrong when there are so many elements to the hiring process. While you may want to brush off a rejection and move on, it’s also important that you learn from your mistakes and work toward preventing them in the future.
When you’re unsure of what went wrong, consider whether you made any of these simple mistakes that can be deal-breakers in the hiring process:
1. You didn’t follow directions
Not following simple directions during the hiring process can tell an employer if you lack attention to detail. This kind of ‘test’ can come in several forms, including:
- The document format you should use for your resume
- The subject line you should use in your email
- Directions for the day of your interview
If you missed a step or did not follow directions precisely, this is an easy mistake that will turn off a hiring manager.
2. You were unprepared
If you entered the interview overly confident, you may have decided not to prepare for common interview questions, or questions to ask your interviewer.
If you can’t think of a question to ask, or if your answers lack substance, your interviewer will be able to tell that you did not prepare for the interview.
3. You lied about something
Lying about anything throughout the interview process never ends well for the candidate, as employers have a variety of ways to fact-check and verify the things you’ve said. This includes lying about your:
- personal references
4. You weren’t a good cultural fit
While this can be difficult to pinpoint, keep in mind that the connection you share with your interviewer can play a major role in their decision.
If you didn’t get along, or you seemed to have different preferences in terms of management style or work environment, chances are you wouldn’t have been happy in this role.
5. You have an unprofessional online presence
51% of employers are googling candidates during the hiring process.*
As a result, be sure that you are aware of what your online presence says about you. If an employer found something in a search of your name that was too unprofessional, this is an easy reason to move on to another candidate.
6. You didn’t sell yourself well enough
While you may have the right experience for a position, your ability to articulate why you are a good fit is crucial to your success.
If you weren’t using your time strategically to sell yourself as the best candidate for the position, the employer may not take your background seriously.
7. You didn’t send a ‘thank you’ note or a follow-up
Courtesy is a crucial element of your personality that hiring managers are looking for. While forgetting to send a thank you note doesn’t sound like the end of the world, this simple step sends a message to your interviewer that you appreciate their time and that you’re very interested in the role.
This also keeps you at the top of mind during the decision-making process, so skipping the follow-up can sometimes be the final straw that prevents you from receiving the offer.